Photography: What color is a plum?

4am, I woke up with my mind racing.Thinking about plums mostly.

In that moment before you take a bite, when you hold it up to the light, polish it on your shirt, beads of water clinging to the skin.

It is purple. A deep purple. Almost black purple. A waxy gray film making it dull in spots. Beneath the purple hide mottled sunset hues. Deeper within the skin an occasional streak of green or a splash of red. There’s a luster, a sheen, a glow, reflections all within the skin flecked with color. That thin, durable membrane that is perfectly resistant enough to protect what’s inside yet inviting enough to be deeply satisfying to bite into.


Inside that violet montage is the flesh. Inside the sour skin the flesh is tart on the tongue and then sweet. So sweet. Cool fruit juices bursting with every bite. It is a creamy sunrise color. Warm, inviting, subdued color. Translucent and sparkling like the eye of a cloudy ocean wave.


Then a pit. A hollow protective shell somewhere between wood and stone. A rough and pitted husk.


And there, deep at the core is the seed. A vessel of life. An organic computer containing the code — the programming — for life. In that tiny dormant incubator, the white incubating matrix, are the knowledge and the plan for not one new plum, but a new plum tree. Send your shoots upward, against gravity to the sky. To light. Send your roots down through the soil to nutrients and moisture.

Face the sun. Protect yourself with your chemistry. Communicate with others through scents. Sleep in the long cold, awaken in the warmth. Trade tender shoots for tough bark. Delicate stems and leaves for muscled branches. Flower and bloom. Invite winged insects to carry your essence to another and accept from another.

Bring forth many plums.

What color is a plum? What color is the experience of a plum?


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